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December 28, 2009
DOJ Voting rights chief fired. Prosecuted New Black Panthers
Main Justice.com reports there's been an unceremonial removal from office of the Civil Rights Division's Voting Rights Section chief, Christopher Coates. He signed off on the complaint against the Black Panthers and is presently under subpoena by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission which is investigating Attorny General Holder's decision to drop the case after it was won.
Veteran Civil Rights Division attorney Christopher Coates is no longer chief of the Voting Section, according to the division's Web site.
There was no official announcement of the personnel change in the long-troubled section, which most recently has been embroiled in the controversy over the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. Main Justice noticed the change on the Voting Section Web site.
Taking over for Coates in an acting role is Chris Herren, a deputy chief of the section, according to the Web site.
Alejandro Miyar, a spokesman for the Civil Rights Division, wasn't available for comment Sunday. Coates did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. It could not be learned whether Coates left the department entirely or transferred to another post.
Coates signed off on the controversial voter intimidation complaint against the New Black Panther Party and three of its members, filed in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. The Obama DOJ's decision to dismiss most of the charges in May has become a political controversy for the administration.
Coates also supervised J. Christian Adams, the career Voting Section attorney who compiled the Black Panther case. Adams, who has a history of conservative advocacy, was hired in 2005 by then-Civil Rights Division official Bradley Scholzman, a Bush political appointee who improperly politicized the hiring process in the division, the department's Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility found in a joint investigation.
Coates had been listed on the Web site as chief of the Voting Section as late as Dec. 20.
h/t:Ryan J, Reilly - Free Republic